‘Helping Kids from Hard Places’ conference returns to the Valley


by Michelle Smith

EL CENTRO – For the third time in three years, Amaris Ministries will bring internationally celebrated speakers to the Imperial Valley to train and educate those who work with children on the best practices to help children from hard places.

The 3rd Annual “Helping Kids from Hard Places” conference takes place October 20-21 and features keynote speakers Ruby and Lynn Johnston of LAMb International.

The conference will focus on how to best understand and help children who have experienced trauma at any point in their lives. Previous conferences have been considerably helpful for those working with children in a variety of capacities, according to organizers.

The event will feature an intensive workshop Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., specifically designed for first responders and those “first on the scene” with children in crisis situations. This workshop is geared towards police officers, social workers, receiving home staff, firemen, and foster parents. It provides tools for first responders to help minimize separation anxiety and understand how trauma affects the human brain. This pre-conference intensive will be held at the Imperial County Department of Social Services.

The conference will continue Friday evening and all day Saturday on the campus of Christ Community Church in El Centro. It is open to the public and geared towards all who deal with children from hard places. This includes birth, foster, and adoptive parents, educators, mentors, county workers, first responders, Sunday school teachers, counselors, and many more.

The conference will cover topics such as Trauma in the Classroom, Trauma Informed Practice for Teens, Trauma Informed Practice for Adults and Families in Crisis, and Making Sense of Your Own Past Before You Can Help Others.

Amaris Ministries is a local nonprofit organization that serves women, children, and families in the Imperial Valley. The ministry aids in adoption, foster care, and birthparent ministry.

For more information on the conference, visit www.amarisministries.com, or call the Amaris Ministries office at 760-337-9444.